Minnesota Vikings: Should Chad Greenway return for 2016?
By Adam Carlson
Should the Minnesota Vikings bring back 33-year-old veteran linebacker Chad Greenway for one more season following a NFC North championship season?
Before the 2015 NFL season, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway was thinking about his future. He decided that he’d play one more season with the team and then possibly hang up his cleats for good to retire from professional football.
The thoughts of retirement seem to have lost his head for now, as he now wants to stick around for another season with the team.
The 33-year-old former first round draft pick back in 2006 has been a tackling machine in the past for the Minnesota Vikings, but he’s seen his role with the team decrease as the team made the move to bring in a lot of young talent. Still, Greenway feels that he has a lot to contribute to a team that won the NFC North title in 2015 and earned a playoff spot.
"“I’m going to play football,” said Greenway according to the Pioneer Press. “I’ve got to play one more year. It just can’t seem to end like this. It’s a hard one right now.”"
Sadly, the decision to stay with the Vikings might not be his own. Chad Greenway is a free agent entering the 2016 season and Minnesota may decide to go a different direction with their linebacker group to prepare for the future. But there is a lot of time between now and the beginning of the 2016 season to see how things work out between the two parties.
"“Who knows what’s going to happen? Obviously, there’s offseason decisions, but it just doesn’t seem like the immediacy of this ends right now. … This football team shouldn’t be going home right now, and that’s hard. … There’s enough football left in me to play another season and try to go out differently.”"
Head coach Mike Zimmer sounds like he wants the hard-nosed linebacker back with the team according to the StarTribune:
"“I sat and talked to him for a while [last Monday]. I think his leadership is immense in the locker room, especially with a young football team. I think he took active ownership in the role that he had this year, so I hope it works out. He’s always going to be one of my kind of guys.”"
So, the big question is this: Should the Minnesota Vikings bring Chad Greenway back for 2016?
Personally, I think they should. His veteran leadership is great for the position and he’s also shown a willingness to take a decreased role for the team in order to do what it takes to help the team win. Even if the team drafts a linebacker early in the 2016 NFL Draft to start along side Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, having Greenway available if there are injuries or as a rotational/situational player would be a great benefit to the team.
What do you think?
If the Minnesota Vikings do want to bring Chad Greenway back, he and the team will have to work out a one-year deal that both sides find fair and Greenway will have to accept what might be a much smaller role with the team. With so many variables up in the air, it is hard to predict how things will work out.
However, with everything that Greenway is willing to do for himself, the team, and the community, it might be great to have him represent the Minnesota Vikings for one more year. But only time will tell if that can happen.